Arts & Culture Video

Spike’s Gotta Have Kickstarter

Spike Lee is under fire for launching a Kickstarter campaign that seeks $1.25 million of crowdfunding to support his new film project, “The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint.” Lee’s campaign, launched July 22, so far has raised over $680,000 from more than 3,250 financial backers (and counting). With 18 days left, Lee has reached 50 percent of his goal. While Lee’s supporters—among them, acclaimed director Steven Sodenbergh, who pledged a sizable 10 grand—don’t mind answering his call for money, critics question whether it’s right for the veteran filmmaker to ask at all. They argue that in turning to Kickstarter, a platform typically used by novices and upstarts, Lee is diverting money away from smaller but equally deserving campaigns.   More

Jobs Learning

MBA Talent Turns from Wall Street to Tech

More graduates from Harvard Business School are going into technology, preliminary career data published by the school shows. Technology companies hired 18 percent of MBA graduates from the class of 2013, up from 7 percent in 2008 and 12 percent in 2012. Financial service companies hired only 27 percent of the graduating class, down from 45 percent in 2008 and 35 percent in 2012.   More

Business

Girl Develop It Instructor Calls Out “Bogus Stereotypes”: Girls CAN Code

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Jennifer Mozen helps lead software development teams and would like to see more women in her field. By day, she is a delivery principal at Chicago-based web development and digital consulting firm Table XI. In her spare time, she is a volunteer coding instructor with Girl Develop It, a nonprofit organization with chapters in 15 U.S. cities, Sydney, and Ottawa that provides software development training and mentorship for women. In this Q&A, Mozen tells Techonomy’s Andrea Ozretic that she sees a big shift coming in the demographics of software development.   More

Business

The Anti-Techonomic View: Economic Growth Is Over

The Techonomic view of how continued rapid technological innovation will transform society and industries is expressed on these pages every day. MIT economist Erik Brynjolfsson is among those who say "our best days are still ahead of us." Northwestern macroeconomist Robert Gordon might be the anti-Techonomist.   More

Media & Marketing

NewsCred’s Credo: Showcase the Best Web Content

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NewsCred launched in 2008 with a contrarian business model in digital media that its founder Shafqat Islam admits was “naive”—a plan to spotlight premium journalism. Since then, the plan has matured. Having created powerful curation technology for its partners, NewCred has licensing agreements with hundreds of blue-chip sources, ranging from The New York Times to Getty Images, The Economist, and the Mayo Clinic. With a killer's row of partners, NewsCred is quickly becoming a force in creating custom content in brand marketing for some of the biggest players in the world.   More

Learning Startup Culture

What Is Blerdology?

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Blerds unite! Blerdeology, a social enterprise to support and engage the black startup and STEM community, is rallying blerds (black nerds) across the country with its “Blerd’s Night Out Tour.” Blerdology is the first organization to produce hackathons specifically targeting African-Americans, and these summer networking events aim to showcase rising black innovators and engage minority startup ecosystems.   More

Cities

Tech and Innovation Must Play Central Role in Detroit Revival

Even as Detroit hits financial bottom, Techonomy retains its belief that applying tech and innovation can be a major aid toward a historic comeback. As Techonomy Detroit 2013 nears, the conference continues to grow its list of speakers and sponsors, and refine its program. Techonomy earlier announced the inclusion of Square CEO Jack Dorsey, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson, Jean Case of the Case Foundation, Andrew Yang of Venture for America, and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. New speakers include Rodney Brooks of Rethink Robotics, Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution, Edward Luce of the Financial Times, Susan Lund of the McKinsey Global Institute, Hector Ruiz, Chairman and Founder of ANS, Nilmini Rubin, competitiveness expert for the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Ford's K. Venkatesh Prasad, and Cisco’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Tae Yoo.   More

Business

OK Glass, Do Your Shtick

If you enjoyed Trae Vassallo's recent post about how she uses Google Glass to be a more efficient mom, you'll love author Gary Shteyngart's account of puttering around New York, basking in the awe factor of the futuristic eyewear. Shteyngart entered a Twitter contest to become one of the first "Google Explorers" to try out Glass. (His winning tweet, "#ifihadglass I could dream up new ideas for the TV adaptation of my novel Super Bad True Love Story," earned him the privilege of paying $1,500 for the product.) After some basic training at the Glass Explorers "Basecamp," Shteyngart hit the streets, along with several hundred other Explorers in New York City.   More

Cities

Are Cities Engines for Smart Growth?

New York cityscape image via Shutterstock

Kids today would rather be mayor than president, Thomas L. Friedman writes in a recent column. “The country looks so much better from the bottom up—from its major metropolitan areas—than from the top down,” he writes, pointing to the partisanship and inefficiencies in federal and state legislatures. Cities, therefore, are the laboratories and engines of our economy—a conclusion reached in a new book by Brookings Institution scholars Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley called “The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy.”   More

Global Tech Government

Apple Falls Victim in China Anti-Foreign Campaign

Apple store in Shanghai (image via Shutterstock)

As if its China troubles weren’t bad enough following a weak earnings report, global tech giant Apple is now coming under political fire from central bureaucrats in Beijing for failing to deliver promised donations after an earthquake earlier this year. Frankly speaking, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Apple or any of the other firms that get this kind of criticism, since I find their quickness to announce donations after any major disaster somewhat insincere and largely a publicity ploy. But the fact that yet another foreign firm is coming under attack from central government sources this month certainly adds to my previous assertions that Beijing has recently embarked on a drive to discredit foreign firms and divert attention from other domestic problems.   More

Government Media & Marketing

Washington Post Sees the World “Switch”ing

Today the capital's leading media source (yes, still more important than Politico—after all, even people in New York read it) began publishing a regular blog about the intersection of technology and public policy, called (slightly opaquely) The Switch. This is, in our view, just the kind of techonomic movement that the world, and journalism, needs. As its first post explains, the site's goals will be "making the policy process accessible to technologists, while helping policy professionals gain a deeper understanding of technology."   More

Media & Marketing

Why Nate Silver Spurned the Times: Numbers Win

Silver at South by Southwest, 2009

Old-school journalism lost another battle with the numbers-driven ethos of the digital age last week. Statistician extraordinaire Nate Silver's leap from The New York Times to ESPN puts in stark relief the disadvantage blue chip Fourth Estate institutions have competing against an entertainment ethos in the digital age. A David Carr or Andrew Ross Sorkin may be big names, have blog fiefdoms and Twitter followers in the hundreds of thousands, but the mentality of the Times is that the only real star is the Grey Lady itself and that the organization is what keeps those journos in boldface.   More

Cities

A Development Guru’s New Take on Detroit: Optimism

Lost glory: decaying mansions in Detroit's Brush Park (image via Shutterstock)

Detroit's emerging startup scene is enough to make even an economic development guru pivot his position on the city's future. New Republic's Alec MacGillis, who's been watching the gurus closely, prefers the term "flip-flop" for Richard Florida's readjustment. Florida, a University of Toronto professor, Atlantic senior editor, and author of "Rise of the Creative Class," has been opining for years about Detroit's circumstances. Last week, Florida told CNN that anyone who's been paying attention to Detroit wasn't surprised by the bankruptcy filing. But he said it hit right when the city is finally ready to make a comeback.   More

Media & Marketing

Kirkpatrick: Chromecast Gives Google More Data for Ads

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Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick appeared on Yahoo! Finance on Thursday, calling Chromecast “another major move by the Internet companies that’s going to hurt the old economy of cable systems.” While old systems require viewers to pay ongoing monthly subscriptions, Google Chromecast asks users for a one-time investment of just $35. But what Chromecast consumers aren’t paying for with actual money, they’re paying for with their own information, including what they view and how they view it. This information enables Google to better target its ads and charge buyers more for them.   More

Cities Startup Culture

Why I Love Detroit for Launching a Startup

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By the time my company LevelEleven launched last fall after being incubated within Pleasant Ridge’s ePrize, I had already planned our business strategy and next steps. And it never crossed my mind to move out of Detroit to build LevelEleven in a more obvious startup market. Why? In part, because this is home. But Detroit also has many characteristics that make it a great place to launch a technology startup. There’s a lot of noise about entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and New York. But listen closely and you can hear a new buzz coming out of the Motor City.   More

Security & Privacy

Does Citizen Sleuthing Lead to Smears?

A revealing New York Times Magazine article by Jay Caspian Kang sheds more light on the dark side of citizen journalism and what happens when the crowd gets it wrong. It all started on April 19 on Reddit, where photos of 22-year-old missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi were posted alongside images of Suspect #2 in the Boston Marathon bombings (later confirmed to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev). The “news” of an identified suspect spread like wildfire, cycling through Twitter and Facebook and quickly being picked up by major news media, including NBC, until the FBI eventually stomped it out by denying that Tripathi was a suspect.   More

Business

Asia Is Getting LinkedIn, But Not Everywhere

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LinkedIn, the world’s largest social network for professionals, has a massive presence in Asia—over 40 million members with the user base growing daily. Yet it is substantially more successful in some places than others. India accounts for roughly half of its total users in the region. Southeast Asia and Australia together account for another quarter. Penetration in East Asia, however, is lower, especially considering how many professionals live in China, Japan, and Korea. Many factors account for differences in uptake, but cultural factors are very significant.   More

Business

Kirkpatrick: Facebook Mobile Ad Growth Shows Promise

Facebook reported impressive quarterly earnings Wednesday, thanks in large part to strong mobile advertising sales, which accounted for 41 percent of the company’s total ad revenue. The announcement came as a happy surprise to investors, exceeding analyst expectations by a hefty $200 million and sparking a 25-percent surge in Facebook stock by Thursday morning. Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick spoke on Bloomberg West on Wednesday about Facebook’s good news, calling the results a “historic moment for a company that’s really coming into its own."   More

Bio & Life Sciences

Post Ruling, Gene Patents Roll on, as Does the Tech

U.S. Supreme Court building (image via Shutterstock)

The Supreme Court’s ruling last month to strike down gene patents is unlikely to have a widespread impact on the genetic field, as is already being made evident by new lawsuits from Myriad Genetics against rival gene testing services. In the long run, it may be technological advances rather than legal maneuvers that end the debate. The case generated quite a buzz at the time, as a large group of molecular pathologists and other plaintiffs charged that they couldn’t properly treat their patients without being able to test genes linked to breast cancer, the most well-known of which were locked up in patents held by Myriad and a few other organizations.   More

Business

Could Leap Motion Gesture Control Mean the End of the Mouse?

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Who needs a computer mouse when you have your hands? The much-anticipated Leap Motion, which brings gesture control to Mac and Windows computers, started shipping this week, ABC News Reports. Much like Kinect for Xbox, Leap Motion (sold for $79.99) enables users to control their computer screens using waves, pokes, reaches, and grabs. After plugging in the small motion-sensing box, users need to download or buy specific apps from Leap’s Airspace Store. Many of the 75 apps currently available are games like Fruit Ninja and Cut the Rope. And, although reviewers say the navigation technology is mostly precise, there are still some bugs that need to be worked out.   More